A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found the reason why such a small percentage of sperms manage to reach the egg with researchers saying that their journey along the female reproductive tract resembles that of a demolition derby.
Researchers from University of Warwick and University of Birmingham conducted the joint study too check why less than one percent of more than 300 million sperms released during sex manage to reach the female uterus and just a few dozen manage to reach the egg.
The researchers found that the sperms have a very poor sense of direction and stick to the walls of the reproductive tract. They also have trouble navigating around the corners and often crash headlong into the walls and onto themselves, similar to what happens during a demolition derby.
The researchers expressed hope that their study will allow more effective fertility treatments. "Previous research from the group indicates that the shape of the sperm head can subtly affect how the sperm swim. Combined with this data we believe new methods of selecting sperm may become possible", University of Birmingham's Dr Jackson Kirman-Brown said.